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Remote Priting for a Mac

Posted on 2011-05-04
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
I have a client that uses a Mac.  The work computer she uses at her home office is a windows XP machine.  She can RDP to it just fine, but the printer on her local Mac never shows up, nor are there any error messages in the event viewer.  She has the current Mac drivers, and printer sharing as well as the RDP option to share the local resource are both checked.

How can we print from the Windows XP machine to the local Mac through RDP?   Any idea where this might be wrong or is it even possible?
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Question by:tsaico
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jonahzona earned 1000 total points
ID: 35694137
Try using a PostScript driver for you printer. From what I can tell it is the only way to get this to work on a Mac.
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Author Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 35694750
Bummer,  it still doesn't work.
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35694755
Did you try installing the postscript driver on the TS as well? Sometimes you need the driver on the TS too.
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Expert Comment

by:Mac2010
ID: 35695679
Why would you need to print to the local Mac? Is this an USB printer, shared from that Mac? And excuse my ignorance, but what is "RDP"? Is that a Windows feature?
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Expert Comment

by:mccrick
ID: 35698757
To me it sounds like you want printer sharing. I don't think RDP is part of the equation. SMB and/or Bonjour might get you there however.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=Mac/10.5/en/8666.html

http://lifehacker.com/310554/share-your-macs-printer-with-windows-without-samba

http://macs.about.com/od/macwindows/ss/printersharexp.htm
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by:jonahzona
ID: 35699007
@Mac2010 and Mccrick -

I think you guys are confused over what is trying to be accomplished here. She is using Windows XP through Remote Desktop (RDP stands for Remote Desktop Protocol for @Mac2010) from a remote location from a Mac. When using RDP, you are given the ability to redirect your printer in your RDP session to a printer that is installed locally on the machine that you are using.

This works most of the time from a Windows machine, but it is a entirely different animal from a Mac because of the big difference in drivers from a mac to a pc.

Printer sharing won't work because you are trying to print locally while RDP'd into a remote machine. The only way to print locally from the RDP session is for printer redirection to work, which is what we are working on.

Here is more info on printer redirection.

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/cc758836%28WS.10%29.aspx
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by:tsaico
ID: 35699030
I did install the Postscript drivers on machine too, didn't work.

RDP is the Remote Desktop Protocol built into windows.  When the user is not in the office, she logs in from whereever she is to work on Quickbooks, Emails, memos, sales reports, etc.  Easier to use than VPN, but comes across things like this.  She wants to print to the local Mac because that is what she is in front of.  The printer is a usb printer local to the mac, but not connected at all to the network where the PC is.

I will check out Bonjour.  I had discounted it because the printer is not part of the same network.  Without a VPN, I wasn't sure of how this would send SMB data to the network and back.  While not opposed to a VPN, the user previously didn't like it because she had to remember to start the VPN and then connect.  She would rather not print, then have to double click twice.
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Expert Comment

by:jonahzona
ID: 35699079
Let me make one more suggestion. I did this before, and it did work. It was janky, but it worked. In order for this to work the printer must be a network printer as well (through wifi or ethernet) and the network she is on must be either in the same subnet or in a subnet that is in the same address range as the computer she is RDPing from.

Install the printer as a IP printer, with a static ip address. For arguments sake, you could do 192.168.1.55.

Install the printer with those settings on the RDP machine. Also, install the printer with those settings on the Mac that she is trying to print from.

I had a case where I could not for the life of me get printer redirection to work from a WIRELESS printer. I was able to get it working through this configuration. Let me know if you need more info on this.
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Assisted Solution

by:mccrick
mccrick earned 1000 total points
ID: 35699800
Whoa cool. I hadn't thought of that. Can't wait to see the real answer. If you don't get it to work then an easy workaround would be to print to PDF and share the file back to the local Mac.
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Author Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 35708920
Making a network printer like that would be great, but since she is on the road sometimes, her laptop and printer are in her home office, hotel room, whatever.  I might be able to do so with a vpn, but there just seems like too many things that might go wrong with a non-tech person trying to do this.  I think the workaround is the best option so far for consistent results.
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by:tsaico
tsaico earned 0 total points
ID: 35734875
No other suggestions have come up, i am going to close the quesion.
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Author Closing Comment

by:tsaico
ID: 35763272
no real solutionwas given.
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